Sunday, December 28, 2014

Here are just a scant few items of the (mostly) long-playing variety that I tossed onto the ol' Victrola these past 365 or so days. Being the sorta fanabla that I am I thought these particular entries into the BLOG TO COMM sphere o' things warranted a mention even if they may have been lingering in the collection for nigh on thirtysome years. Or for that matter even if they'd cohere better scatted amidst reviews of
"fresher" releases than they would lumped up in one soggy post. Well, it seemed like a good idea last January when I started to crank these "Rock-A-Rama"-styled writeups but who knows, a year-end post featuring nothing but platters that may or may not have been collecting dust inna basement or just seemed too OBVIOUS to review elsewhere might end up being a yearly tradition if this one pans out! But somehow I hope it doesn't (tradition sucks, good old ideas that still work rule!)


This one may not be on the Nurse With Wound list but it's certainly on the Mirrors one which is why I slapped this one on the turntable faster'n you can sing "Wyoming"! Thankfully THORINSHIELD isn't the sunshine and rainbows pop many of us thought it would have been, what with the downright intense underlying boffo feeling that separates it from the reams of SoCal post-surf pop this sometimes gets corralled in with. The strings fit in fine (no glycerin here!) and the performance is in that style of deviant pop rock which will not only curl the locks of that ironed hair gal who fancied herself a local variation on Jane Asher, but will sate the class turdball in all of us. A forgotten surprise that I understand ex-Mothers/Rhinoceros drummer Billy Mundi was involved with, but can you trust everything you read on the internet now, can you?

This is the US version consisting of tracks from a number of English Sadistic Mika Band albums which I always assumed were cut ups of the original Japanese issues in the first place. Chock full to the brim with that mid-seventies groove which brings out the best Roxyisms this group could muster up, SADISTIC MIKA BAND squeezes out of its grooves plenty of ennui over lost chances at love/lot/life that will be sure rise to the surface of your repressed teenage psyche like scum in the tub. Refined Asian prog pop glam that's sure to appeal to the Roxy/Sparks/Jet fans who thankfully still recall 1974 in terms of decadent flash 'stead of post-Viet hippie whole wheat front porch jams. (For an earlier Sadistic Mika Band appreciation of mine howzbout clicking here, not that you're exactly going to discover anything life-reaffirming or spiritually cleansing. But you just might...)
Iggy Pop and James Williamson-KILL CITY LP (Bomp!)

Ain't heard the recent "refined" version of this album that Bomp! has been hawking the past few years, but the original green vinyl version with that third-generation sound really does decadent wonders for me Brings back all of those memories of hanging out at Rodney's English Disco and the parking lot of the Whisky that never even happened to me in the first place. And although I must tell you than upon first listening I really didn't cozy up to the horns and obviously El Lay production methods nowadays KILL CITY sounds a whole lot more refreshing than much of the solo Iggy quap that graced my ears throughout the eighties. And y'know, in many ways this comes off like the best deca-teenage sleaze platter to come outta Southern California since the Jump album...hmmmmmm, I wonder why???????
Philip Glass-MUSIC IN TWELVE PARTS PARTS 1&2 LP (Caroline Italy)

Having just listened to the three-Cee-Dee collection of MUSIC IN TWELVE PARTS in its entirety, I eventually discovered that my memory did serve me right this time when I couldn't help but think that the composition's vinyl debut (which used to be a high-priced import bin stuffer back inna late-seventies) was not only executed properly but sounded so superior to the complete take. The original Glass ensemble (why did Joan LaBarbara leave anyhow???) not only knew how to perform their material as if not a bunch of New Age robots, but the warm analog sound is generally fuller and fluid, way more enveloping than the comparatively cyborg new version that does show the limitations of digital to the point of embarrassment. After listening to this, one would think that this description with all the Sam the Sham and Velvet Underground name-drops must have been rather astute now, because I sure do.

Fairly recent reish of the class Mainstream album that most Janis fans claim to hate even if this one continues to sell all these years later. True the renditions of soon-to-be familiar tuneage just don't seem to have the same drive as the gunch that appears not only on the various Janis collections that came out in the wake of her death but a slew of bootlegs, but they sure represent the energy and spirit of San Franciscan ballroom rock about as well as the Oxford Circle or Daily Flash could. Brings out a real '66 feeling to it that reverberates the Vejtables or even Beau Brummels in a way most local recordings afterwards never could, and the blaring drive of such unforgettables as "Light is Faster Than Sound", "Coo Coo" and "The Intruder" will make you forget about those admittedly cornball numbers that never did rub you the right way.
Kim Fowley-I'M BAD LP (Vinylissimo, England)

As far as for making a try for the whacked out Alice Cooper/Stooges market, I'd say that Fowley gave it at least a "C+" try. His vocals sounds like the halfway mark between Iggy and Reg Presley while the band, bless their hearts, just come off too conga line instead of prime feral like you hoped they would've. Still a classic example of early-seventies toss out rock that used to get bin-strolling slobs like myself such adolescent throb thrills wondering what sorta chicanery was going to transpire between those rather decadent grooves!
AME Son-CATALYSE CD (Spalax France)

I did mention that this album was worthy of reappraisal and now that I have heard it all I feel like muttering is...boy was this a boring platter. Post-Soft Machine Gallic groping from some typical eurohipsters who do the usual rock jam here and jazz toss in there, and it all comes out so sterile even if you get the idea this group collectively stank to high heaven (I mean, I've heard about hygiene conditions in Europe and they ain't the same as they are here!). Some ear squinting is in order if you want to make this at least halfway palatable, but otherwise you're gonna be in for a sorry 45 minutes of your life.


Not that all offensive even if I sure do miss the primitive thud of their first three. Not as heavy metal as I thought they were going to be, although Phil Mogg still proves to all of us that he's to Robert Plant what Robert Gordon was to Elvis. Still, one could say that a huge error had been made by substituting Mick Bolton's Ron Asheton chording for Michael Schenker's comparatively smooth lines. (And while you're peeking, did you know that the models on the cover of FORCE IT were none other than Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P, Orridge, the latter still coming with his original gear tactfully in place?)
Tim Buckley-GOODBYE AND HELLO LP (Four Men With Beards)

Despite the typical '67 overproduction the folk rock styling peeps through loudly and clearly enough for me to appreciate. Not as adventurous as those avant garde jazz excursions that turned off alla those rockcrit prissies who couldn't stand Buckley's Coltranish side, yet far from the steaming pile of glop that many of these folkie traipses became during the years of earnest angst. Basically this one reminds me of none other than Judy Collins, if she were only lucky enough to grow a pair of balls.
The Move-CALIFORNIA MAN LP (Harvest England)

This's got most of MESSAGE FROM THE COUNTRY along with a few single sides to pad it out (after all, weren't the Move on EMI for only a few nanoseconds before morphing into ELO?). It's still a tuff collection for those of you who still have a soft spot in your heart for the group's post-Beatles gush that Alan Betrock and Greg Shaw saw as hope for the future of rock 'n roll. Of course things eventually turned out quite different, but at least you can give a listen to this and the Fly-era recordings whilst conjuring up your own fantasies of what a bright and straight ahead seventies AM scene we coulda had if only Misters Lynne, Wood and Bevan had ditched those damned cellos!
Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band-LICK MY DECALS OFF BABY, CLEAR SPOT LPs (Straight/Reprise)

I know, how couldja follow up an effort like TROUT MASK REPLICA anyway! Very carefully, and that's just how Mr. Van Vliet and band did it on a platter that, along with FUNHOUSE, FLAMINGO and THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (and where does PARANOID fit in?) stands as a testimonial to the power and energy that rock in 1970 shoulda been only the kids were too busy getting knee-deep into whole grain consciousness to bother.  '72's CLEAR SPOT shows the creeping commercialism that would gag Beef's old fans once the guy moved over to Mercury/Virgin, but it still swings swell even though you can just hear producer Ted Templeman wishing and hoping he'd have a Doobie Brothers West Coast chartstormer with this 'un. Nice sun zoom spark to these brighties that sure dredges up loads of fun teenbo memories of pouring through used record store bins and flea market stacks for albums I thought I'd never be able to hear in my entire pitted butt lifetime.
GOD BLESS TINY TIM CD (Now Sounds, England)

I guess that old turd who for some reason or another shouted "YA LOOKIN' FOR THIS ONE???" at me while we were plowing through a huge pile of flea market albums was right all along! An engrossing, varied and important to your own late-sixties musical understanding as the "serious" stuff album, and I mean it wholeheartedly. Richard Perry's production adds to the Tim legacy w/o coming off too nostalgic, while the selection of olde tymey chestnuts mixed with fresh off the production line popsters makes for an album that I know woulda turned off your Unca Ferd as well as that faux hippoid cousin of yours, but so what! Nowadays it sure seems more real than either the Moms and Dads as well as the San Francisco scam, and that's the &$%#@* truth!
The Fall-DRAGNET CD (Castle Communications, England)

Sheesh, I thought this was going to be an album about the adventures of Joe Friday and the LAPD, but it turns out only to be the second long player by that group that keeps changing its membership 'cept for singer Mark E. Smith. As far as late-seventies primitive poundings go this is just as good as I remembered this stuff to be before 1982 rolled in, but sheesh do the Fall sound like 1) a group that spawned a whole bunch of imitators/emulators who really don't hold up to the original thrust of it all and 2) a group beloved by a vast array of puton underground snob elitists who hate my guts which are two strikes against 'em in my book! Too bad, because their monotony really seems like unbridled genius in the best repeato-riff rockist way imaginable.


Although I was really impressed with the packaging to their BANDSTAND album, I never gave Family (or Roger Chapman's followup project Streetwalkers) much of a to do for obvious anti-prog rock reasons. Not one shrunken head or gimmick in their packaging, but maybe I did have my curiosity piqued by Chapman's name-drop on the back cover of the debut Tin Huey EP along with other well-placed references in my cranium. Now that I finally get to hear this group after years of indifference all I gotta say is it's REALLY hard to figure out just how this aggro could appeal to people I thought had a tighter fit on their noggins. Yeah there are some good hard approaches here and late-sixties Harvest Records-styled British art rock there, but overall neither of these platters sate the way the more instipunk groups of the same stratum could on initial impact. A struggle to make it through both of 'em, really.
Ultravox!-HA! HA! HA! LP (Island)

Sounds a whole lot like what I sure woulda wanted the reams of seventies Roxy Music-inspired electronic art rockers to have enulated, though when one really puts their ear to it this sure does remind me of what a whole load of bad eighties rock was eventually gonna sound like. Can't hold it against any of 'em, though I get the feeling that listening through both Jon Foxx's solo and Ultravox's entire 80s/90s output would be enough to drive me to the loony bin. At least when this sophomore spinner arrived on the scene there weren't any rock videos or deeply inbred stylistic gunch to ruin the cathartic experience, and listening to it with late-seventies ears intact really does help bring back fond memories of an older, more adventurous rock 'n roll time.
The Kinks-FACE TO FACE, ARTHUR LPs (Reprise)

Yeah I like the Kinks but I never really loved 'em. Perhaps their popularity (amongst the sleeker-than-thou crowd) did that in and. maybe I shoulda known better, but then again I do have my pride and besides listening to the Kinks would always remind me of these walking abortions anyway! There are more' a few things I just can't get outta my mind I'll tell ya.

But then again I got hold of these two platters and decided maybe that the Kinks were worth my liking, but loving woulda been a little too much to ask of me. '66's FACE TO FACE shows that even though the band was moving towards their Victorian-influenced "Golden Age" they still had that mid-sixties British Invasion mop top appeal firmly in place. Still rocks pretty hard (which is the name o' the game Patrick A.) and the decadent rich aspect ain't as gagging as I always believed it to be!

ARTHUR's more sophisticado but still sports a bright if downright MEAN pop rock streak that sure sounds more representative of what 1968 shoulda been 'n "Hey Jude"! Still I can't bring myself to throwing my heart 'n soul full thrust into total Kinkdom...maybe if I thought more about Jymn Parrett and less of Jay Hinman while listening to 'em I'd get over my prejudices. But I doubt it!
DMZ LP (Sire)

Upon first listen my opinions regarding this 'un were about on par with those of many a brethren, that DMZ was a good album but not anything fantab or perennial turntable spinnable like their Bomp! releases. Well, thankfully times have changed, at least to the point where I find that Mono Man Connolly's debut major label effort is a down-right Great Amerigan Album classic up there with the first Dictators and the Droogs' KINGDOM DAY. Really succeeded as far as delivering on them high-energy hard rock knocks during a time when teenbo USA really couldn't give two winks. Flo and Eddie really capture the group's essence of ranch house suburban messy basement fun and jamz more than most would give credit, and the selection of originals and boffo covers make this the true spawn of NUGGETS custom made for a youthdom that wasn't gonna let John Travolta speak for their bubbling under needs! One for the cut out bin in the vast reaches of your mind.

When you filter in the early-seventies heavy metal quotient via the neo-Stoogian/Dolls equation with a tad bit of the Max's Kansas City credo, it does sound nice enough. Just edit out the Chuck Eddy cum Andy Secher aspects of stoner allegiance and it'll go down rather smoothly, as long as you read pertinent articles and reviews originally featured in DENIM DELINQUENT and HYPE(RION) while givin' it a spin. Coulda been better, but when the dope and egos took over it got way worse so count your blessings.

1 comment:

nik said...

totally agree with you ge p glass.
that LP is a long treasured spin. cleans the eardrums nicely.